PUGLIA: select cities & towns to visit in 2015
PUGLIA., the fast track destination for Tour & Travel offers a number of UNESCO World Heritage sites to visit in 2015.
Here’s a list of the top six sites we enjoyed most in consecutive order:
Bari is Puglia’s capital, a city of 350,000. and with so much to cover. It was the second major city after Naples during the Graeco Roman period and period after.. The Basilica of San Nicola, patron saint of Russia for one (1087 ).and the Cathedral of San Sabino along with the Museo Della Cattedrale ; both in the historic old quarter. and both noted for their Byzantine-Norman style are worth visiting. The four pointed Castle of Frederick II( 1233-12340 ) is another find..
It was later used by Queen Isabella of Spain and her daughter,
Bona Sforza in the 16th century. Other sites include the Teatro Petruzzelli ( 1898-1903 once considered the greatest lyric house in all of Italy; The Corso Vittorio Veneto, the Corso Nuovo in the main sector, the Church of San Gregorio, San Giovanni, and the Piazza Del Ferrarese( 1600 ), will convince you to stay longer. And the walk along the esplanade with its 19th century lanterns glowing ever so brightly is amazing at night.
2.MONTE SAN ANGELO
The Church of Santa Maria Maggiore at Monte Sant’ Angelo is a world class site. This “national sanctuary” and the Tomba Di Rotari, “the bapistry” are a must see..The bronze doors here were sculpted in Constantinople in 1076. Tradition has it that St. Michael, the Archangel, appeared here in 473. It’s a vigorous
climb to the top of the mountain if you’re able.. Climbing down or if you’re driving a tour of the Gargano National Park
for us was exhilarating. It’s a vast woodland of beech,oak, and salt lakes.
The Trulli houses in Alberobello and the Valley of Itria on the far side, part of the Murge Dei Trulli are best bets. Set over a tranquil area of ancient olive groves, vineyards, almond trees and a plethora of farms, villas and grand estates, Alberobelli is
a photographers dream. The trulli, to note, were built largely in the 15th century of stone, not mortar. Only in this part of Italy will you find them en-mass.
Lecce is heavily a Barogue city. Charles V built a magnificent castle here now used as offices for the city government, and inclusive of large salons used as art galleries and special events. This is the heart of the Salento region and the corner post of the Magna Gracia. Cobbled-stone streets, intimate lodging and more. Try the Church of Santa Croce in the old quarter for treasures in art and historic design; the Palazzo Vescovile, and the Duomo, built in1659. You wont be disappointed.
Taranto, founded in 706 BC by the Spartans of Greece was considered the richest city of the Magna Gracia.. Known for its jewelry, the Gold of Taranto earned its reputation throughout
the south of Italy in that period.. You’ll find examples of this in the Museo Archeologico Nationale. Then leg on to the Citta Vecchio, for more inspiring sites, particularly the Duomo , built in 1071, the church of San Domenico Maggiore, built in the 11th century and castle of Frederick of Aragon, built in the 15th century..
The grotto at Castellana is a World Heritage/ UNESCO site. Located outside the city limits and measuring more than two miles in length, it’s one of Italy’s most unique sites..Spirited by a corpse of well informed guides you’ll be able to descend several hundreds of feet below the surface with an easy circular walk down to the chasms therein. See the Lady in Dress, the White Clouds, the Butterfly, The return is by elevator to the top. It’s open seven days. Ask for Mina while you’re there. . For more on Italy try: www.enit.it
For more on PUGLIA listen to our August showcase on
www.letstravelradio.com. and follow us on Twitter, Facebook
Michael Zufolo/ Let’s Travel Radio
. Michael Zufolo / Let’s Travel! Radio